Your Neighbor
R. Dunican

T he bathroom window was partially open. From your seat on the toilet, you looked out and saw your neighbor staring in. She smiled and walked away.
You followed her through a gate and into a garden that was empty, silent, and overgrown. The dry grass crunched as you walked across it. She parted the hanging wisteria and disappeared behind the leafy curtain.
Through tangled vines, the dim light splintered into long spidery fingers, each gathering a chaotic orbit of dust. She sat on the edge of an old bed, unbuttoned her top and took it off. A faded blue hummingbird disappeared between the shadow and fold of her breast. She crawled between the damp sheets and tossed her jeans and silk panties onto the floor. The smell of aging prophylactics and dying sperm hung in the air.
Before you could move closer, a heavy-set man emerged from the darkness and faced the bed. A mass of curly brown hair blanketed his back and broad shoulders. He reached for his belt. The steel buckle hit the ground with a thud. A tentacle of sunlight captured the hair sprouting from between his buttocks as he climbed, naked, onto the bed. An ancient language rose with passionate whispers. Shrounded beneath a thin veil of cotton, his body flushed its sweat from open pores--attracting the queen bee with a tannic scent. After several short gasps, a long single exhalation released tension into silence. The two parted. The man tossed his pleasure filled condom onto the floor, then merged into the shadows on the bed.
When his breathing deepened in sleep, she beckoned to you and you moved closer. Her moist hair lay on the pillow in a tagled web. Her face was flushed, but her eyes were cold and still. You knelt. The smell of the man lingered on her breath. She reached out and with one hand pulled you violently toward her. The sound of teeth colliding echoed in your ears. She forced her tongue into your mouth. You drew back monentarily and watched as her tongue tasted the air between you--then found its way bach into her mouth. She grabbed your hand, placed it on her freckled stomach. You pretended to pull away, but she understood. Your fingers became her fingers as she spread her legs.
Somewhere in the distance, you heard the rushing sound of water as a cool breeze, through a partially open window, blew against your closed eyes.

First published: June 1993